Au Bon Pain unveils a new bakery-café design
Impressive results, a new design promise a bright future for the brand
Scheduled to be deployed throughout the company in 2023, the new design continues the momentum of Au Bon Pain. It all started in July 2021 when famed franchisee Ampex Brands acquired the brand and its CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz pledged to “lead the bakery-café segment into the future”.
The new design builds on the new customer reality of convenience and off-site, without straying from Au Bon Pain’s roots as a French bakery serving freshly prepared, high-quality and simple meals.
“Improving the appearance of our locations is essential to our ‘Back to Bright’ campaign,” said Au Bon Pain President Ericka Garza. “We decided to pursue our promise to serve delicious food in a friendly, fast and clean environment and to create an exceptional customer experience. The Café du Futur visually represents the goal of our brand.
Au Bon Pain has partnered with Rubber & Road, a San Francisco-based branding and retail design firm, to create an experience that combines authenticity and playfulness without sacrificing speed or service. Rubber & Road has redesigned the bakery-café interiors and exterior with finishes that complement the brand’s healthy, freshly prepared menu items.
A new order station, self-service bakery and take-out areas add efficiencies for Au Bon Pain’s key customers – commuters, students and healthcare professionals who want to “in and out” with great tasting fuel for their day. Navigating the cafe will be intuitive, with product placement and signage prominently displayed throughout the ordering process, while hand-painted floor and wall signage recalls the bakery’s French roots. Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating provides a sense of community and rest.
“Our new cafes give customers on the go what they crave and deserve – artisanal, delicious, fast food – while also providing a beautiful space for customers who want to stay awhile,” Garza said. “Fun details, like a sweet hello at the entrance, remind customers of our heritage as a French-style bakery, to which we remain loyal. We appreciate our partners at Rubber & Road for creating this modern and authentic expression of Au Bon Pain.
Known for its suburban and college locations, Au Bon Pain has also rolled out a modernized, take-out kiosk design to elevate those experiences. The first kiosk opened last year at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York.
Au Bon Pain has recorded impressive results in its first year under new ownership. This summer, an existing franchisee signed a 10-unit development agreement in the Northeast, the fourth franchise agreement under Ampex ownership. By the end of the year, it will open five company-owned bakery-cafés and six franchises, including five locations and five renovations in Thailand.
About Au Bon Pain
Au Bon Pain (translated “good bread”) offers gourmet convenience to travellers, students, commuters and friends. It serves quality products made from simple ingredients including transportation hubs, airports, city office buildings, universities and hospitals. See the full menu fresh and tasty sandwiches, breads, pastries, salads, soups and coffee or order online at aubonpain.com.
Founded in Boston in 1978, Dallas-based Ampex Brands purchased the bakery-café in 2021, catapulting the franchisee into a franchising role and expanding its footprint internationally.
Center Range Communications
Center Range Communications